If you’ve never been to an all-inclusive resort, you’re probably wondering what they are and how they work. Basically, all-inclusive vacations work like this: For one low price, your lodging, food, drinks (including alcohol), and entertainment are provided. It’s actually similar to going on a cruise, the only difference being that you stay in one place and focus on enjoying everything your resort has to offer. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Trust me, it’s awesome.
In fact, I actually like to think of all-inclusive resorts as the holy grail of frugal travel. I mean, they’re a budgeter’s dream. Imagine not having to wonder how much your family will spend on lunches and dinners for the week, or how high your bar bill might climb if you’re having a good time. I actually think that’s why I love all-inclusive resorts so much. As a frugal lifestyle enthusiast, they allow me to enjoy meals, drinks, shows, and more without feeling nickeled and dimed for every last thing.
It’s Easier Than You Think
Did you know that you can book some all-inclusive resorts with points? It’s true. In fact, I’m going to lay out exactly how you can score an all-inclusive deal for your own family in this post. Do what I say and YOU could be laying on a tropic beach drinking mojitos in no time, okay?
Hyatt Gold Passport (Now World of Hyatt)
Note: The information about Hyatt below is now outdated. We are leaving it published just so readers interested in the history of the card/program may read it. The program has changed to the World of Hyatt Program, and the Hyatt Credit Card has changed its signup bonus to a points bonus instead of the flat 2 free nights.
One way to earn a free all-inclusive vacation with points is to sign up for the
Hyatt Visa Signature® Card. When you hit the minimum spending requirement of $2,000 in the first 3 months the account is open ($75 annual fee), you earn 2 free nights at any Hyatt in the world including their all inclusive hotels. What this means is that two point-earners could earn four free nights at either of all-inclusive resorts offered in Hyatt’s Portfolio:
- Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos, Mexico (Family-Friendly All-Inclusive)
- Hyatt Zilara Cancun, Mexico (Adults-Only All-Inclusive)
Want more than just four free nights? One of the best ways to earn more all-inclusive nights at Hyatt is to earn points that transfer to the Hyatt Gold Passport Program. And in my opinion, Ultimate Rewards points are the way to go. You can earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points by signing up for cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve card or Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card.
The cool thing is, Ultimate Rewards points transfer to Hyatt Gold Passport (now World of Hyatt) at a 1:1 ratio, so any points you earn on these cards can be used for all-inclusive nights. Winning!
Hyatt Gold Passport Points Required per Room/per Night
*For Single or Double Occupancy
|Standard Room||Suite Night||Additional Points per Person*|
|Hyatt Zilara Cancún||25,000||40,000||12,500|
|Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos||20,000||32,000||10,000|
Hyatt has a few options, but I believe that IHG Rewards has them beat in the all-inclusive department. With the IHG Rewards Visa, you could stay for free at an all-inclusive resort, and even bring the kids along. Here’s how:
In a family with two point-earners, both would sign up for the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card. Here are two of THE BEST all-inclusive options you can book with points out there:
Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort All-Inclusive, Montego Bay, Jamaica
- 35,000 points per night
- FREE wifi
- Kids stay and eat free
Holiday Inn Resort All-Inclusive, Los Cabos, Mexico
- 35,000 points per night
- FREE wifi
As you can see, kids stay and eat free at the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica, which means that you, your spouse, and up to two kids could share a room and stay entirely on points. The key would be earning enough points to stay for at least 5 or 6 nights. To do this, you could go back to the strategy I outlined above using Ultimate Rewards points. Ultimate Rewards points also transfer to IHG at a 1:1 ratio, which means that they’re easier than ever to earn.
Have you ever been to an all-inclusive resort? If so, would you do it again?
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